Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Giving Yourself A Little Credit

It's blog number two of positivity exercises! In the last exercise we looked at those people and things in our lives that we are most grateful for. While it's possible that there were some internal gratitudes in there, for instance being thankful for possessing a particular personality trait, when asked to give thanks we generally look at those people and situations around us. If you did focus a bit internally, congratulations! You're a step ahead on this next exercise. It means that you recognize your own value and fabulous qualities, which is pretty amazing.

I believe there are two sides to adopting, and maintaining, a positive mindset. The first is to be able to show love to others. Not love in the traditional romantic sense, but an overall kind of human love. The love that says "I appreciate you. I know how you've helped me and/or others. I value who you are as a person. I know you're doing the best you can, even if you falter." While there are numerous ways to extend this love, offering up thanks, as we did in the previous exercise, is a good start. The second side is extending that love to yourself. Appreciating and valuing who you are, flaws and all. It doesn't mean ignoring those flaws, but simply understanding that they exist, and being able to continue to value yourself just the same. Sometimes it might even be figuring out how to look at those flaws in a more positive light (an exercise we'll do later on). So in this second exercise, we're going to give ourselves a little credit because, quite frankly, we deserve it.

Here, I ask you to list ten (or more!) things that you appreciate and value about yourself. It can be something small and simple, or something deep and particularly meaningful to you. We're commonly our own worst critics, so this is an opportunity to convince yourself of those attributes others already see in you, perhaps without your even knowing. Use these points to describe yourself as if you were describing your best friends or closest family members. It may feel like bragging a little, but that's ok - often we're so unused to giving ourselves credit that the slightest compliment or acknowledgement of our values feels over-indulgent. And remember, it doesn't matter what others think of these traits, it's how you feel about them. If something comes to mind, don't fight it, jot it down. Sometimes it's those things that float into our heads that we're least expecting that make the most impact. Here's my list:
  • My big heart
  • My sense of humor
  • My smile
  • My loyalty 
  • My love of helping others
  • My energy 
  • My quirkiness
  • My creativity and imagination
  • My belief in following dreams
  • My openness
Was it easy or difficult for you to make this list? Could you have come up with more than 10? Did anything pop into your head when you were creating your list that surprised you? If you'd like to share your favorite attributes, go right ahead! I'd love to hear. It might inspire others too! 

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